With 20 mm more rain in June than last winter plus 10 mm already in July conditions across the farm are wet. Most of the crop paddocks are holding up OK but we have been using the wheat straw in the worst ones to provide a drier lying surface for the cows.
Key decisions this week include:
1. Focusing our attention on calving and springtime. Key pre-spring items on our list include:
o Pulling together our springer paddock plan and how we will draft up mobs. Heifers will be managed in a separate springer mob this year. Our first springer draft is scheduled for the 20th of July.
o Springer aid paddock boxes: the team has already pulled together springer aid boxes for all 3 springer mobs. These include essential items required for calving and downer cow treatment.
o Springer feed budget and spring rotation planner. This will help us manage supplements and pasture area through spring leading up to the balance date without getting caught short. You can find DairyNZ templates for this here: Spring Rotation Planner Tool - DairyNZ
2. Monitoring kale residuals to ensure we are not pushing them to eat the poorer quality lower stems now that the plants have hardened off
3. Continuing with regular crop yielding and adjusting allocations as required. After calculating the approximate days left of kale we have reduced the proportion of kale in the diet of all the herds and increased the baleage so we can keep the cows on crop further into August.
4. DM allocation to the R1's has been increased. These animals are now averaging 242 kg and have been growing at 0.7 kg/day for the last 5 weeks.
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